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Professional Development Essay: Critical Reflection On Skills And Knowledge


Task: The purpose of the reflective essay is to develop a clear and inspiring vision of what you want to achieve in your career. In the essay student need to succinctly review the literature, particularly focusing on skills important to the development of their career/profession and how it will make a positive difference in his/her career/profession along with a role of a professional manage. Students are expected to critique the literature and to adheres to the word limit. Essay should also contain reference list written in Harvard style. Given below are some guidelines that are useful for writing the assignment.

Section 1: Understanding and Analysis. Describe what is the meaning of professional development and why it is important. How you can relate the idea of professional development with your career vision. What is your career mission statement?

Section 2: Literature Review. Review the important of skills on career development and discuss why you believe your selected skills are important for today’s managers? You should be referring to wider source of reference, preferably peer reviewed journals and conference proceedings.

Section 3: Skill Identification and Critical analysis. This section should present critical analysis of skills that are important for your desired professional position. You should also need to refer to the recent job advertisement (as an evidence this should be attached as an Appendix in your report) of a professional position of your interest and present critical analysis of skill gap (of what you possess and what is required). To support your analysis, you may refer to wider credible sources to link skills to the advertised position.


The present professional development essay revolves around the concept of personal development that is an important aspect of life as it assists in reflecting upon the skills and attributes that fare required for professional growth. In this professional development essay, I will illustrate the necessity and importance of professional development and the way it has helped me in analyzing my skills and knowledge. The skills that are required for my professional development will be explored in a detailed manner and the way I am planning to make use of professional development in order to improvise my skill will be discussed in a detailed manner. The importance of skill for career development will also be highlighted.

Professional development method

Professional development is the method of maintaining significant professional credentials such as formal coursework’s, academic degrees; informal learning that can be situated into practice, attending conferences and more (Rubens et al., 2018). It is a way with the help of which skill and knowledge are enhanced so that professionally an individual can increase their own performance. The five principles of professional development explored in this professional development essay states that firstly professional development should have a significant duration and must be ongoing so that individual is able to learn new strategies for problems, secondly the individual should have appropriate support and guidance during the implementation stage that will help in changing practices, thirdly individual should collaborate with a community that are implementing similar changes. fourth stage suggests that online mediums can be adopted that can help in enhancing professional development, lastly the five core features of professional development best practice should be kept in mid such as coherence with standards and policies, integrated contents and pedagogy, active learning opportunity, mentoring and individual learning.

professional development approaches

There are various approaches discussed in the context of this professional development essay that can contribute towards professional development such as coaching, consultations, communities of practice, mentoring, lesson study, technical assistance and reflective supervision. It is analyzed that continuous professional development is essential and important because it helps us in ensuring we continue to be increasingly competent in our professional field (Pucciarelli and Kaplan, 2018). It is considered as a continuous and on-going process throughout our professional career. Through professional development, we are able to encourage ourselves to learn new skills and gain new knowledge which helps us in overcoming new challenges at the workplace and makes us more efficient and competent at the workplace. It is evident that with increased globalization the competition among employees is also increasing and in order to capture and gain lucrative opportunities, it is essential to possess all the vital knowledge and skills. A career mission statement helps in providing a clear purpose for future developments. Professional development can be associated with a career vision statement as any mission statement has been created with the aim of improving performance (Campbell, 2017). In order to improve any performance or support employees, the study developed in this professional development essay illustrates that it is essential that the individual himself should possess adequate skill and knowledge which can be developed with the help of professional development. Therefore professional development helps in improving competencies that in turn help in focusing on the career mission statement and allows us to achieve our visions and goals in a positive manner. My career mission statement is “to support and inspire individuals in order to enhance their capabilities and improvise their skills and become more competent and active”. As it can be observed that my mission is to inspire and help other individuals to enhance their skill it is necessary that in order to achieve this mission statement I must possess all the vital skills and knowledge so that I am able to help and support others. Professional development will help me in continuously learning new skills and improving my skills and knowledge along with the present changes and trends and therefore I will be able to achieve my mission statement.

According to Cottrell (2017), it can be analysed in this segment of professional development essay that skill development is the method that assists in recognising our skill gaps and helps us in developing the lacking skill set. Skill development is necessary because our skills help in determining our ability to execute a task or a plan in a successful manner. It is significant to develop necessary and required skill set for a successful career. It is evident that skills such as communication, leadership, teamwork, time management and more are necessary in order to improve the performance of an individual (Ritter et al., 2018). Skills are an important part of an individual as it helps in analysing and understanding the capabilities and competencies of an individual and based on that they are approaches for professional opportunities. For instance, if a job opening for a marketing manager is available then all the candidates applying for the position will not get the job. Only the candidate that has all the necessary skills that a marketing manager should possess will get the job as other candidates that do not possess the skills will not be able to carry out the tasks and duties of a marketing manager. Therefore this example helps in understanding that skills are necessary as it categorises individuals as per their capabilities and competencies and therefore, in order to become successful in a professional career one must possess all the skills as well as knowledge. The professional development essay examines the readings of Prajapati et al. (2017) that skills are vital as they help in enhancing thinking abilities and helps in improving problem-solving. It helps us in understanding the impact of our activities and allows us to take up responsibilities in a confident manner as we are sure that we will be able to perform the actions as well possess the skills. Skills are considered vital for confidence development and confidence is vital to gain an increased and successful career opportunity (Jackson, 2015). Skills are categorized under two basic categories such as soft skills which deal with people’s skill, communication skill, social skill, personality attitude and trade. On the other hand, hard skills are measurable or teachable abilities such as reading, writing and more.

Managers are a significant part of an organisation as they have a primary responsibility of ensuring that all the goals and objectives of the organisation are well met so that the performance of the firm increases in the market. As per the investigation on professional development essay, it is noted that in order to become a successful manager, there are a number of skills that must be possessed by an individual so that they are able to manage an entire workforce and guide them in their duties. I would like to address my perception in this professional development essay that a manager should possess planning skills, communication, and decision-making skills, problem-solving skills, and motivating skills. As per Divleli and Ergun (2015), planning is one of the most essential duties of a manager they are responsible to allocate duties to the employees based on their skills and knowledge so that the tasks are completed successfully and the organisation is able to meet its goals. Managers are required to interact and communicate with employees, make them understand their duties, guide them with their tasks and help them in their problems. Therefore having excellent communication is one of the most important skills to be a successful manager. In addition, it is observed that as the business environment changes many times managers are required to make a decision that will benefit the business and assist in its growth. In order to make a beneficial and reasonable decision that decision making the skill of the manager should be appropriate. A business encounters many challenges and problems while operating in the competitive market active problem-solving skills help in finding creative and innovative solutions for problems, therefore managers are required to have excellent problem-solving skills. As stated by Kiruja and Mukuru (2018), it is also noted in this professional development essay that managers should possess, motivating skills, employees in business may feel low due to increased competition or work pressure, therefore, it is the responsibility of the managers to motivate and encourage the employees to remain positive and active towards their duties so that enhanced outcomes can be gained.

problem-solving skills in professional-development-essay

I aspire to become a business development manager at Hardygroup and in order to gain this position; there are certain skills that must be possessed by me. Some of the most significant skill required for this position includes communication skills, good business knowledge, negotiation skills, organisational skills and creativity. As per my self-reflection, I can analyse that my soft skills such as communication skill is excellent and I am confident at speaking with my colleagues and friends. In addition, I am quite creative as I participate in most of the problem-solving activities and try to work on my creative knowledge. I am always trying to think of unique and innovative ideas so I am able to enhance my creativity. However, some of the my soft skills such as negotiation skills, and other hard skills such as business knowledge and organisational skills are quite inappropriate and therefore, lack of these significant skills will reduce my chances of capturing the job opportunity and therefore I am planning to work on improving these skills. I need to improve my lacking skills so that I am suitable for the position.

In order to improve my negotiation skill, I will take up a class in which I can work and learn about negotiation, the activities of the class will help me in practising negotiation ad will improve my knowledge in this area. I will also keep practising this at home and with peers so that I can improve this skill as it is necessary. In order to work on my business knowledge, I will enrol in a business course which will allow me to gain an understanding and also expose me to the business world. The course will also allow me to understand the challenge in difficulties that are experienced by a business I will be able to understand the working environment and it will benefit me in my career development. Business knowledge is a vital skill and joining courses to improve my skill is essential. Lastly, I will have to increase my organisational skills and therefore in order to do that I will take up an internship in a good repute organisation so that I am able to gain practical knowledge regarding the ways a business operates. I will be able to experience the challenges and learn from the situation. Internship helps in gaining knowledge and also improves our skills, we are able to understand work pressure and the way we need to behave and the attitudes that help us in a workplace.

In this professional development essay, we can conclude that professionally develops is important as it allows us to work on our skill and professional knowledge so that we are capable and competent. I analysed that significance and importance of skill development and the way skills help in gaining attractive career opportunities. Skills are significant as they help in understanding the capabilities of an individual and based on its job and employment offers are provided. I have discussed the skills of a manager and the ways these skill sets are used by a manager in order to carry out their roles in a business. In addition, I have conducted a self-analysis regarding the skills that are lacking in me as compared to skills that are required for the job I desire to achieve. In the above professional development essay, I have also discussed the ways I am planning to work and improve my skills in order to be appropriate for the job position and gain the opportunity.

Reference List
Campbell, C., 2017. Professional development essay Developing Teachers' Professional Learning: Canadian Evidence and Experiences in a World of Educational Improvement. Canadian Journal of Education, 40(2), p.n2.

Cottrell, S., 2017. Critical thinking skills: Effective analysis, argument and reflection. Macmillan International Higher Education.

Divleli, M.S. and Ergun, E., 2015. MANAGER EFFECTIVENESS AND EFFICIENCY: THE EFFECT OF SKILLS ON DIFFERENT LEVEL MANAGEMENT. International Journal of Management & Human Resources, 3(1).

Jackson, D., 2015. Employability skill development in work-integrated learning: Barriers and best practice. Studies in Higher Education, 40(2), pp.350-367.

Kiruja, E.K. and Mukuru, E., 2018. Professional development essay Effect of motivation on employee performance in public middle level Technical Training Institutions in Kenya. IJAME.

Prajapati, R.K., Sharma, B. and Sharma, D., 2017. Significance of Life Skills Education. Contemporary Issues in Education Research, 10(1), pp.1-6.

Pucciarelli, F. and Kaplan, A., 2016. Competition and strategy in higher education: Managing complexity and uncertainty. Business Horizons, 59(3), pp.311-320.

Ritter, B.A., Small, E.E., Mortimer, J.W. and Doll, J.L., 2018. Designing management curriculum for workplace readiness: Developing students’ soft skills. Journal of Management Education, 42(1), pp.80-103.

Rubens, A., Schoenfeld, G.A., Schaffer, B.S. and Leah, J.S., 2018. Self-awareness and leadership: Developing an individual strategic professional development plan in an MBA leadership course. Professional development essay The International Journal of Management Education, 16(1), pp.1-13.


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